Attempting greenery as building construction element
Building construction material creates structure but greenery pumps life and purpose into itBlog By - Satish Joshi
When we design a building, we think of the building
materials that are going to be used for making of the building, their
properties, their colour, texture etc.
But there is one strong element which is not actually the
building material as such, but which is very much essential to complete the
ambience of building space and i.e. bringing greenery as a part of our design.
Itâ€™s like with all the building materials, we can create the
skeleton the skin, the body, the face, the looks but only with greenery, life
is pumped into that structure. It makes the structure lively.
We have attempted to consciously use this element in many of
Netaji Subhashchandra Bose Boys Military school.
Totally a barren hillock without a single tree. The school
demanded lot of flat area for various parade and sports activities.
Hence all the building structures were located on slope and
all flat areas were developed into playgrounds.
Water was lifted from nearby river. The road from entrance
gate was taken to the hilltop plateau around which all the buildings were
located on slopes.
From this hilltop plateau, all building structures only top
floor is seen. Entire 2/3 stories are experienced only when you enter the
The entire plateau is thickly landscaped with trees which
actually cut the vision of even ground floors of the structures, creating a
Even each building front area is covered with shrubs and
A separate overhead tank is constructed where the recycled water from sewage treatment plant is stored and used for the landscape by gravity.
Naturopathy center's Ladies treatment ward.
The existing ward was a typical purely functional
one with doubly loaded corridors with treatment rooms and spaces on
both sides. The no. of rooms were inadequate making the patients wait in the
gloomy corridor for their turn. Our main attempt was to break this boring
experience of waiting in this lifeless corridor and make this time of treatment
a pleasurable one.
We introduced four internal courtyards in four zones of
treatments. The corridor now has one side the treatment spaces and on the other
side this lovely green open to sky internal courtyard with ghat like steps to
sit, enjoy this court while waiting.
Itâ€™s no longer gloomy and boring but fresh, healthy, fully
ventilated central space.
Secondly each treatment like massage, various types of
hydrobaths need min.20 minutes of time slot. To make this experience also enjoyable,
we have created an external green courtyard which is covered with curved wall
from outside for privacy.
So only with green internal and external courtyards this new ladies treatment ward is turned into an ambience of luxurious spa without cosmetics and costly frills.
Though it was 6000 sq.mt. plot, the built up area
requirements were too high hence going vertical with minimum required marginal
side open spaces for fire tender movement and space for plantation of trees
near compound wall could be left.
But we were interested in creating a large central open
landscaped space to be seen from all floors.
We created a 3 storied car parking structure and the 7
storied office structure was arranged in "C" shape around
that podium. The canteen and recreation activities are planned on the level of
podium which becomes an extension of the same activity creating a
refreshing, happening space.
This green podium is on the East side, hence always in shade
in the afternoon.
All the floors have breakout balcony corridor overlooking this podium.
Jagdamba Bhavan - Prajapita Brahmakumari's Spiritual
Center at Pisoli, Pune.
The site was a sloping portion of a hillock. The clients
brief was large hall for discourses, seminar halls for small groups, Meditation
room called " Babas room" library , offices and some residential
facility for the members with large dining facility and a large open amphitheater.
We decided the form of brahmakumari's logo, an
elliptical circle with radiating rays from the centre for the structure.
Central elliptical circle became the large hall with all
other anxillary spaces around this hall with a corridor in between. All
these spaces around the hall were separated from each other by strips
of terraces radiating from the hall as if the rays of wisdom or gyan radiating
out from the central hall.
While walking in the corridor, these green terraces give
glimpses of light, greenery and the panoramic view of the hills around in a
frame. This has resulted into a refreshing and delightful experience turning
the corridor into a path of circulation.
The rear side sloping portion of the site is developed as a
very large open amphitheater accommodating 2500/3000 devotees.
This entire amphitheater is made as green stepped
terraces with lots of green trees cover in between and around. The green
element has given this center a very refreshing, healthy, ambience.
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